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No energy transition without energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency is key to a successful energy transition. The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) contains important instruments and measures

to save energy in industry, trade, households, transportation and in other sectors. dena is working on other strategies as well, for instance as part of the Energy Efficiency Platform.

Statistics & facts

13.306 PJ
was the final energy consumption
in the Federal Republic of Germany
appr 14000
certified energy consultants
listed in dena’s database of energy efficiency experts
12 %
market share held by German companies
of the global energy efficiency market in 2013
billions of euros.
According to NAPE, efficiency measures can contribute to a reduction in energy costs by 2020

No energy transition without energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency

The energy transition calls for innovation and a fresh mindset. Our current level of energy consumption must be halved as quickly as possible. And it is imperative to satisfy this demand using regenerative energy sources that protect our climate and environment. The energy transition will be more successful if we use electricity, heat and fuel efficiently.

If we are serious about largely abandoning fossil fuels and halting the rise in environmental costs, we must start investing today – for instance in regenerative energy sources, energy-efficient products and systems, and in energy-efficient building and refurbishment . Besides achieving the objectives defined in the energy transition itself, an energy-efficient approach has other benefits as well: if buildings use less heating and cars less fuel, consumers, companies and public institutions can all cut energy costs and reduce 2 CO2 emissions.

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) and its core objectives

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) defines current instruments and measures to achieve these objectives. In addition to proven instruments like funding programmes or information campaigns, NAPE consciously includes ideas for new and innovative solutions. The industrial and business sectors, private households, the transport sector and other areas are all of equal importance. The Action Plan has three main objectives: To increase energy efficiency in buildings. To establish energy efficiency as a profitable investment and a business model. To increase a sense of personal responsibility for energy efficiency.

Although Germany has made some progress in energy efficiency over recent years, the development in primary energy consumption shows that there is significant potential for further savings in all areas. Currently, energy consumption is only stagnating. So increased efforts will be needed to achieve the objectives.

Energy efficiency made in Germany

In addition, Germany is poor in natural resources, so the economic potential of energy-efficient solutions is a significant factor. This is because energy efficiency does more than just lower energy costs, it also reduces the capital outflow to countries that export fossil energies. The bottom line is more money available for investments in Germany. In turn, this strengthens the position of German companies as providers of pioneering products, systems and services for “energy efficiency made in Germany”. Energy efficiency is therefore more than a supporting pillar of the energy transition, it also possesses immense significance for the competitiveness of the German economy on international markets.

Society is also responsible for achieving the efficiency objectives.

Not only is the energy transition a question of technology, know-how and capital. The commitment of the general public also plays an essential role. We are all responsible for the success of this project, whether as politicians, businesspeople or private individuals. The success of the energy transition is decided as much by the construction of new electricity lines, gas power stations, electricity storage units and off-shore wind farms as it is in cellar boiler rooms, electronics shops and car dealerships. To ensure a successful energy transition, it is imperative to develop convincing new ideas and strategies and to appeal to all of the actors within the energy transition. Seeking to develop and establish these ideas on the efficiency market, dena initiates networks, centres of expertise and motivational campaigns, that advocate greater energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency Platform as an example: how dena provides support

Lively communication, individual consulting and a forward-looking debate are all needed to make the necessary information available at all of these points. dena is the right partner here. For instance, dena developed the so-called Service for Experts to provide architects, engineers, energy consultants and trades firms with a central repository containing all of the available information on energy-efficient building and refurbishment, as well as helpful tools for everyday tasks and tips for dealing with clients, therefore providing experts with the easiest possible access to all of the relevant information. After all, energy-efficient buildings will automatically become more successful if the experts provide outstanding services.

dena also runs the campaign office, ensuring scientific and organisational support for the Energy Efficiency Platform. The initiative was created by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The aim is to exploit the expertise of the many different stakeholders as a contribution to achieving the national and European energy efficiency objectives. Business, consumer and environmental associations, trade unions, energy agencies and national and state ministries are represented on the platform.

Our projects

Advising BMWK on energy policies

Since 2016 (and since 2021 in the second cycle) dena has advised the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, BMWK) on matters of energy policies in its position as framework agreement partner. It provides the consultancy services as the principal contractor, cooperating in this capacity with 15 partners from business and science.


  • Project start: September 2016
  • Client: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Partners: adelphi, BBH, EY Law, FIW München, Fraunhofer ISI, Guidehouse, heimrich+hannot, ibh, ifeu, ITG, Milengo, Öko-Institut, Prognos, PwC, Uni Stuttgart (EEP & IER)


China pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and peak carbon emissions by 2030. This is an important step in the fight against climate change, and vital to the success of the global energy transition. With the Sino-German Energy Transition project (EnTrans), GIZ, dena and Agora Energiewende will support Chinese policy makers and think thanks in the implementation of a low-carbon energy transition and the integration of large shares of fluctuating renewables into the energy system.


  • Project start: January 2021
  • Project duration: 2 years
  • Goals: Exchanging knowledge for a successful energy transition in China
  • Partners: GIZ, Agora Energiewende

Förderprüfung EEW

Die dena koordiniert im Rahmen der „Bundesförderung Energie- und Ressourceneffizienz in der Wirtschaft“ (EEW) die Prüfung geförderter Unternehmen. Die geplanten Förderprüfungen EEW (FöE) sollen Informationen liefern, ob die Fördervorgaben eingehalten wurden. Das Projekt dient der Qualitätssicherung und liefert wichtige Erkenntnisse zur möglichen Weiterentwicklung des Förderprogramms.


  • Die dena koordiniert im Rahmen der „Bundesförderung Energie- und Ressourceneffizienz in der Wirtschaft“ (EEW) die Prüfung geförderter Unternehmen. Die Förderprüfungen EEW sollen Informationen liefern, ob die Fördervorgaben eingehalten wurden. Zudem dienen sie der Qualitätssicherung und der Weiterentwicklung des Förderprogramms.
  • Zielgruppe: BMWK, Fördernehmer im EEW, EEW-Durchführer (BAFA, KfW)
  • Das Projekt ist ein Kategorie-2-Projekt
  • Dauer des Projekts: Vertragslaufzeit: 24.07.2023 –31.12.2028, Umsetzungszeitraum: 11.9.2023 – 31.08.2028
  • Project Information

Gebäudeforum klimaneutral

Das Gebäudeforum klimaneutral bündelt Kräfte, um gemeinsam Klimaneutralität im Gebäudesektor zu erreichen. Wesentliche Bestandteile sind partnerschaftliche Zusammenarbeit im Netzwerk, innovative Werkstätten für Wissensaufbau und eine Plattform für die Multiplikation von Wissen und Aktivitäten.


  • Startjahr: 2020
  • Dauer des Projekts: 3 Jahre
  • Projektziel: Kräfte bündeln, um gemeinsam Klimaneutralität im Gebäudesektor zu erreichen

geea – “Allianz für Gebäude-Energie-Effizienz” (Alliance for Building Energy Efficiency)

The Alliance for Building Energy Efficiency (Allianz für Gebäude-Energie-Effizienz, geea) is a cross-sector consortium of leading enterprises, associations and organisations in the field of energy efficiency in the construction industry.


  • Project start: 2011
  • Positions and dialogue to improve building energy efficiency
  • Publication of numerous publications, organisation of political events
  • Participation in various dialogue formats
  • 2021: 10-year anniversary
  • 2023: Almost 30 members

Geschäftsstelle Dialog Energiewechsel

Die Geschäftsstelle Dialog Energiewechsel wurde von der dena an ihrem Standort Berlin für die fachliche Unterstützung des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK) im Rahmen der Kommunikations- und Aktivierungskampagne „80 Millionen gemeinsam für Energiewechsel“ eingerichtet. Sie fungiert als Bindeglied zwischen dem BMWK und kampagnenrelevanten Stakeholdern im Bereich Energieeffizienz und erneuerbare Energien.


  • Projektbeginn: 2020
  • Projektziele: Die dena berät das BMWK bei der kommunikativen Ausgestaltung der Kampagne. Die Inhalte und Botschaften sollen fachspezifisch und passgenau vermittelt werden.
  • Projektpartner: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft Klimaschutz (BMWK)

Office of Energy Efficiency Platform and Roadmap

The Energy Efficiency Platform is the German Federal Government’s central dialogue forum for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption. Suitable instruments and measures are developed in a broad discourse with relevant stakeholders.


  • Project start: 1 March 2020
  • Project duration: 4 years
  • Scientific monitoring: Prognos, Fraunhofer ISI, ifeu and Wuppertal Institute
  • On behalf of the lead departments of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, BMWK)

Individual refurbishment roadmap for residential buildings

The individual refurbishment road map for residential buildings presents the coordinated steps of an energy-efficient refurbishment process. Together with consortium partners, dena is developing an overall methodology for this purpose.


  • Project start: July 2015
  • Consortium consisting of: dena, ifeu, PHI
  • Client: BMWi
  • Documents developed: Booklets "My refurbishment road map" and "Implementation aid for your measures" for homeowners, brief instructions and manual for energy consultants.

Informationsplattform Pkw

Mit der Informationsplattform Alternativ Mobil informiert die dena im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK) über CO2-Emissionen und Energieeffizienz im Verkehr, alternative Mobilitätsangebote und zu Fahrzeugen mit alternativen Antrieben und Kraftstoffen. Zudem dient die Plattform als zentrale Informationsquelle über die Pkw-EnVKV und das Pkw-Label.


  • Projektstart: 2011
  • Projektziel: Verbraucherinformation zu energieeffizienten Fahrzeugen, alternativen Antrieben und dem Pkw-Label.
  • Gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz

Energy Efficiency Networks

In the context of the Campaign, the German Federal Government has agreed with 22 associations and organisations to establish around 500 new energy efficiency networks by end of 2020.


  • Project duration: 2015 - 2020
  • Partners: BMWi and BMU + 22 industrial associations
  • Project objective: 500 networks by end of 2020:
  • Project objective: 75 PJ in primary energy savings
  • Project objective: 5 million-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions